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BPA Exposure in the Womb could Harm Testicular Function Later

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Scientists have found a link between BPA exposure in the womb and early in life and testicular function in adulthood. Researchers have discovered that BPA can long term effect on testicular function from early life exposure.

Rats exposed to BPA during pregnancy and while nursing were studied to find the possible harm to the testicles. Testosterone secretion was decreased in male offspring in response to the chemical that was given to the pregnant then nursing mothers in an olive oil and BPA concoction.

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Benson Akingbemi, PhD, the study's lead author and an associate professor at Auburn (Ala.) University said, "We are seeing changes in the testis function of rats after exposure to BPA levels that are lower than what the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency consider safe exposure levels for humans. This is concerning because large segments of the population, including pregnant and nursing mothers, are exposed to this chemical."

Compared to rats without BPA exposure testosterone secretion was lower in male rats exposed to the chemical that lasted into adulthood.

Dr. Akingbemi says early life exposure to BPA could affect function of male testicles into adulthood based on the findings. For the study, BPA exposure stopped after 21 days. Testosterone levels in the rats exposed to BPA was assessed at 21, 35 and 90 days of age.

BPA has been linked to fertility and cardiac problems in women and other hormone disruptions that can affect reproductive health and even result in erectile dysfunction. The new findings show BPA, found in plastics and in the lining of most canned foods, could cause long term harm to testicular function from early life exposure.